What is Dilantin and why is it prescribed?
Dilantin is an antiepileptic drug, prescribed to control grand mal seizures and temporal lobe seizures. Dilantin may also be used to prevent and treat seizures occurring during and after neurosurgery. If you have been taking Dilantin regularly, do not stop abruptly. This may precipitate prolonged or repeated epileptic seizures without any recovery of consciousness between attacks, a condition called status epilepticus that can be fatal if not treated promptly.

How should you take Dilantin?
Follow your doctors directions for taking Dilantin. It is important that you strictly follow the prescribed dosage regimen and tell your doctor about any condition that makes it impossible for you to take Dilantin as prescribed. If you are given Dilantin Oral Suspension, shake it well before using. Use the specially marked measuring spoon, a plastic syringe, or a small measuring cup to measure each dose accurately. Swallow Dilantin Kapseals whole. Dilantin Infatabs can be either chewed thoroughly and then swallowed, or swallowed whole. The Infatabs are not to be used for once-a-day dosing. Do not change from one form of Dilantin to another without consulting your doctor. Different products may not work the same way. Depending on the type of seizure disorder, your doctor may give you another drug with Dilantin. If you miss a dose and you take one dose a day, take the dose you missed as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once. If you take more than 1 dose a day, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is within 4 hours of your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once. If you forget to take your medication 2 or more days in a row, check with your doctor. Store Dilantin at room temperature away from light and moisture.

Are there any Dilantin side effects?
Dilantin side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. More common Dilantin side effects may include decreased coordination, involuntary eye movement, mental confusion, and slurred speech. Other Dilantin side effects may include abnormal hair growth, abnormal muscle tone, blood disorders, coarsening of facial features, constipation, dizziness, enlargement of lips, fever, headache, inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, joint pain, nausea, nervousness, overgrowth of gum tissue, Peyronie's disease, rapid and spastic involuntary movement, skin peeling or scaling, skin rash, tremors, twitching, vomiting, and yellowing of skin and eyes.

What are the possible food and drug interactions when taking Dilantin?
If Dilantin is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Be sure to inform your doctor of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Dilantin with Alcohol, Amiodarone (Cordarone), Antacids containing calcium, Blood-thinning drugs (such as Coumadin), Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin), Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), Diazepam (Valium), Dicumarol, Digitoxin (Crystodigin), Disulfiram (Antabuse), Doxycycline (Vibramycin), Estrogens (such as Premarin), Felbamate (Felbatol), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Furosemide (Lasix), Isoniazid (Nydrazid), Major tranquilizers (such as Mellaril and Thorazine), Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Molindone hydrochloride (Moban), Oral contraceptives, Phenobarbital, Quinidine (Quinidex), Reserpine (Diupres), Rifampin (Rifadin), Salicylates (such as aspirin), Seizure medications (such as Depakene, Depakote, Tegretol, and Zarontin), Steroid drugs (such as prednisone/Deltasone), Sucralfate (Carafate), Sulfa drugs (such as Gantrisin), Theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), Tolbutamide (Orinase), Trazodone (Desyrel), or Ulcer medications (such as Tagamet and Zantac). Tricyclic antidepressants (such as Elavil, Norpramin, and others) may cause seizures in susceptible people, making a dosage adjustment of Dilantin necessary. Hyperglycemia may occur in people taking Dilantin, which blocks the release of insulin. People with diabetes may experience increased blood sugar levels due to Dilantin. Abnormal softening of the bones may occur in people taking Dilantin because of Dilantin's interference with vitamin D metabolism.

Are there any special warnings about Dilantin?
Tell your doctor if you develop a skin rash. If the rash is scale-like, characterized by reddish or purplish spots, or consists of (fluid-filled) blisters, your doctor may stop Dilantin and prescribe an alternative treatment. If the rash is more like measles, your doctor may have you stop taking Dilantin until the rash is completely gone. Because Dilantin is processed by the liver, people with impaired liver function, older adults, and those who are seriously ill may show early signs of drug poisoning. Practicing good dental hygiene minimizes the development of gingival hyperplasia and its complications. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking Dilantin.

Information on this website is provided for educational purposes and should not replace discussions with your doctor.


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